Believe it or not, it has been almost 23 years since that most famous car chase in American history. If you haven’t been living under the rock back then, then you must know that on June 17th, 1994 O.J. was involved in a two-hour police chase through Southern California which ended after the former NFL running back surrendered himself at his home in Brentwood.
There is a slim chance that you do not know this and that you weren’t one of those estimated 95 million people who watched some or all of the car chase. To show you just how big was O.J. back in the day a little perspective is in order – it is estimated that 111.3 million people watched Super Bowl LI. But we must get something cleared here. If you saw that chase, you didn’t see much of O.J. What you actually saw for those 120 minutes is a white Ford Bronco being driven by Al Cowlings on Interstate 405 in Southern California.
Thanks to this very famous chase Ford Bronco became a very infamous car in America in a very short period of time. It actually became so ubiquitous in American culture that people still joke and talk about it to this day. But what we found out is that 23 years after its famous run, that white Bronco once owned by Cowlings is still in nearly mint condition. Thanks to the Darren Rovell and his interview with Simpson’s former agent Mike Gilbert for the ESPN.com, we found out just where the car’s been for the past 23 years and where it is now.
Apparently, just after the chase, a company in Minnesota offered to buy the vehicle, but Cowlings turned the deal down because he found out what the company wanted to do with the Bronco. According to Gilbert “We found out that the company was going to rent the vehicle to a company in L.A. called Grave Line Tours that visited famous graves. They were going to re-enact the chase with the Bronco and then take people to Nicole’s grave. The trial hadn’t taken place yet, and we didn’t want people thinking anyone associated with O.J. did this.” After that deal didn’t go through, Gilbert and two other men actually bought the car from Cowlings for $75,000 and kept the car sitting in a parking garage for the next 17 years (1995-2012). Gilbert also stated that only 20 additional miles has been added to the odometer since that O.J. chase in 1994.
Gilbert, of course, did get a few offers from people who wanted to buy the car, and one of those offers were as high as $275,000, but he turned them all down mainly because he couldn’t justify selling one of the most famous cars in American history. According to this guy “After the limo that JFK was shot in, this is the second-most-viewed car in American history.” After those grueling 17 years in storage a man representing the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas came wanting to use it in a memorabilia show, and after the deal was struck in 2012, the Bronco went on display for the first time since its TV appearance. It was in Las Vegas until last year, when Gilbert had it moved back to his garage in California, once again.
Gilbert also notified anyone hoping to see the famous Bronco one day, that he’s currently working out a deal with the Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and that the Bronco will likely be put on display there. There is also some irony here because if the Bronco goes again on display this year it just might wait to see the man who made it famous, get released from jail. Simpson has a parole hearing scheduled in July, and according to some experts, he actually has a chance of being released.
Some of you who know this case and the entire situation very well might ask right about now “Well, what’s up with Simpsons Bronco?” Yes, O.J. had a Bronco of its own, but it wasn’t the one that ended up in this chase. His Bronco was seen as a key piece of evidence after investigators found blood spats smeared on the “console, door, steering wheel and carpeting,” and it was destroyed shortly after the trial. If you somehow missed the chase, her is another opportunity to see it, enjoy the video!